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American Dream

Arman Jahangiri Eleven years after fleeing Iran, Arman Jahangiri graduated from UH in May and is headed to medical school. Jahangiri’s big dreams for the future have earned him national recognition. He is among 12 winners of the 2008 Merage Foundation American Dream Fellowship, a nationwide scholarship competition that recognizes the most exceptional immigrant students with the greatest potential in their new homeland. This biology major will attend the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas this fall. His interest in medicine was sparked while growing up in Iran, where his mother practiced dentistry at a clinic for the poor. “I saw how priceless the doctor-patient relationship is,” Jahangiri said. “You’re interacting with someone who really needs you.” He witnessed a similar dynamic many years later while volunteering at a nursing home for Alzheimer’s patients.

Jahangiri plans to pursue neurosurgery, but his dream goes beyond helping the patients. Concerned about the lack of affordable health care for many Americans, Jahangiri sees his future role as that of physician, advocate, policy maker and educator all rolled into one. Jahangiri is planning for his multiple roles by earning a master’s in business administration through an M.D.-M.B.A. program.

This future business student has already demonstrated entrepreneurial flair. He bought T-shirt manufacturing equipment for a bargain price and started taking orders from campus organizations and other groups. Jahangir’s T-shirt business paid for college and then some. Jahangir plans to put most of his scholarship money toward medical school tuition. But he will use some for a medical mission trip to Trinidad and Tobago, where he will assist with obstetric and gynecological surgeries.